Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, the Key Club organized their yearly blood drive for the 20-21 school year. In total, 21 people donated blood to help save lives.
This year, due to COVID-19, donating blood was more difficult. Normally, RCHS holds a blood drive in the school gymnasium; however, with rising COVID numbers, the school could not host.
Instead, Vitalent, a blood donation center, held the RCHS blood drive. Students were given a code to sign up with Vitalent for an appointment. 15 students signed up, and 9 walked in.
Of the donors, one was a plasma donor. In a plasma donation, the cells are not included. Plasma is used for the treatment of blood diseases such as hemophilia.
Another participant donated platelets. In a platelet donation, the blood is drawn from the donor, the platelets are extracted, then the blood is returned to the donor. Platelets help those with significant injuries or blood loss to recover.
19 participants made a whole blood donation. These donations can be used for multiple people and can help save more than one life. Vitalent confirmed that RCHS donations saved 81 lives, which equates to three lives saved per donor.
Behind the scenes, Key Club organized the school donation drive by making posters, spreading the word, and scheduling the event with Vitalent.
“The Blood Drive effort was entirely composed of Key Club members from the
initial Vitalant meeting with Ms. Frahm [after] learning of the unique challenges of doing an off-site drive for the first time, and competing with other DCSD high schools for the Broncos prize of $2000,” Key Club sponsor Christina Geis said. “[Key club also initiated] marketing with banners, signs, social media [as well as] organizing sign-ups and [providing] information on giving blood safely in this pandemic.”
Some members even donated blood.
“A couple of days ago, I got a text saying that my donation helped a patient who needed a blood transfusion,” President of Key Club, Hannah Olsen ‘21, said. “When I saw that, it made me feel so happy that I was able to save someone’s life.”
The number of blood donations has decreased due to COVID-19.
October 15, CBS4 news announced, “Children’s Hospital Colorado is in need of blood donors. The hospital is experiencing a critical shortage of platelets.”
Even across the world, blood donation is experiencing a shortage.
According to the Red Cross,“As hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, donors are urged to give now to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.”
Blood donations are important because they save lives. While often blood donations are a broader subject, this is a call to action. Right here. Right now. Because blood is needed now more than ever.
“In our world right now, blood is needed more than ever. It is a simple thing that a lot of people take for granted.” Olsen ‘21 said. “You really don’t realize how much you have helped someone until you have [donated] and you feel dizzy and […] have to replace all the calories you just lost.”
You can still donate blood and help local schools in the competition win $2000 from the Denver Broncos, given to the school with the most blood donation.. If you or someone you know would like to donate blood, go to https://www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx. For more information on the current need for blood donation, go to https://rockmediaonline.org/5227/news/a-guide-to-this-years-blood-drive/.